Page 12 of 12

Powerful Prayers (vol. vii) “The Magnificat” ~Mary

The-annunciation

As we wind through the season of Advent, it reminds us that the darkness will not last forever, that God did and does intervene in our lives, and that the story isn't over yet…I thought it would be good to look at the prayer that erupted from Mary's soul when she received a message from the angel Gabriel that would forever change her life and ours.

The Magnificat… Luke 1:46-55 (ESV)

And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.

For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.

And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

___________________________

Rumination…

As I look at the average 14 year old-ish person today, I wonder if God could have found someone who could be torn away from their cellphone long enough to realize that God was inviting them to experience something beyond their wildest imagination.

Mary was most likely 14-15 years old when Gabriel entered and ultimately turned her world upside down.  She wasn't from a highly wealthy, political or even spiritual family. She was like us, and that is what makes the Incarnation so powerful. It's not about superstars or perfect ones…it's that good uses the unexpected ones to do unexpected things!

Beneath the urgency of the angelic visit, the bottom line of Gabriel's message to her was not only would she a portal for the Divine, but that her reputation was about to be destroyed… her fiancee' would soon struggle deeply with his sense of what was right… the Yentles of the village would begin to spin their tales of the newest unwed mother… and imagine what Mary's own mom and family would assume at the news that she was pregnant…

Who would really believe this unexpected truth?

In fact, Mary would carry this cloud of faith and pain all her life about the identity of her son. Her own soul was pierced as she stood at the foot of the cross, but she was vindicated when Jesus rose from the dead proving He was who she had said he was…but by that point, Mary really didn't care about vindication… because an encounter with the messiah changes the way we see and view all of life.

Here are a few things that Mary's prayer reminds me of:

1. Even when our circumstances are dismal, if we live with God in our soul, we can still be happy.

2. No matter what political, cultural, economic, or intellectual value we have or don't have, we are all highly valued and loved by God…that's the point of the Incarnation…God came on a rescue mission, not a condemnation mission.

3. God always responds to those who are seeking Him and His ways.

4. God is faithful to His promises…don't give up too soon!

5. God's kingdom is an upside down kingdom…

    If you want to be first…be last

    If you want to lead…serve

    If you have needs…give something away

    If you want to be blessed…admit that you are not in control of that blessing…

In this prayer, Mary taps into the truth that God is sovereign over everyone whether we acknowledge that or not…He is currently at work, and we each have our part to play in the Meta-Narrative of life. The story is not about us, it is about Him…however, how awesome it is to have a role in the greatest story ever written,

Dei Gratia,

Monty

20/20 Challenge October

2020_image  20/20 Challenge for October

The first half of the 20/20 Challenge remains the same; Spend 20 minutes of God-talk/God-time every day. This is so important. To begin seeing your spiritual, physical, and emotional life experience alignment with God, it takes a commitment to engage God’s presence. So take 10 minutes at the start of your day to align your heart with God’s… to let Him know you are available for whatever He impresses upon your heart during the day. Read the verse of the day on my blog, and ask God to begin showing you who He really is through the Scriptures you read. Then ask Him to impress upon you the who, what, where, when and why of the second prong of the 20/20 challenge.

This month as we pump-up our faith in the God’s Gym series, lets turn our attention for the second half of the 20/20 challenge towards building our faith. Dedicate 20 minutes of your month to taking a faith-infused prayer walk around the church facility (or your place of worship if you don’t go to SVA).  As you walk, here are some things you can pray about:

Pray for growth, unity, love, stewardship, clear communication,
Pray for faith, and forgiveness to grow within your church body. 
Pray against division, personal agendas, misunderstandings, and hurt feelings.
Pray for your pastors, church staff, ministries, ministry leaders, volunteers,
Pray for the marriages, families and individuals represented within your church. 
Pray for giving to grow within your church – for individual’s finances to more toward financial health and for individual’s hearts to be open to giving back to God out of the provisions He give each of us.  Pray for God to reveal to you ways that you might join-in on what He is already doing at your church.  Thank God for what He is doing (and will do) in and through you and your church body.

Now you need to SOUND OFF and tell me what God is revealing to you through this faith focused journey; I love to hear your stories! Just click the comment link!

Illuminate Deo,
Pastor Monty

Phil. 1:6